Got a need, a need for speed? If you live in Europe, the regulators are coming for you.
Speed limits themselves, and their enforcement, are nothing new. However, the latest moto news from Europe tells us the European parliament is now looking to have motorcycles integrate Intelligent Speed Assistance into their onboard safety software.
This would not restrict the motorcycle from exceeding the speed limit. Instead, it would detect the speed limit for the zone the motorcycle is riding in, and alert the rider when they exceeded that limit. FEMA (Federation of European Motorcyclists’ Associations) quoted Euro parliamentarian Ms. Róża Thun as saying “We do not introduce a speed limiter, but an intelligent system that will make drivers fully aware when they are speeding.” That was back in 2019; a recent Euro regulator meeting has apparently re-started the plan.
Sounds innocuous … maybe. After all, many motorcyclists are already using GPS hardware or software that does much the same thing. However, it does not take much imagination to see how this technology could change down the road, to restrict motorcycle top speed. The capability is already there on modern motorcycles; all it would take is a few bytes changed in the software, addition of some GPS technology, and bam, you’re gonna drive 55 whether you like it or not.
Along with the onboard speeding reminder, Euro regulators are also proposing mandatory ABS and emergency services notification capability for all motorcycles, standardized regular safety checks, and cracking down on blood alcohol limits. They’re also proposing a standardized 30 km/h speed limit for urban areas.
The light at the end of the tunnel is getting smaller or dimmer.